Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Coffee or Tea??"

     Today was my first day at The Quay School! I found many similarities and differences between school in Ireland and school in America. The schools grades are junior infants (preschool), senior infants (kindergarten), and 1-6 class (1-6 grade). There is only one teacher per grade! The school day is much different. The day starts at 9:00 am. There is a break from 10:40am-11:00am and another from 12:15pm-1:00pm (the infants' break is shortened since they leave school at 1:45pm). The school day ends at 2:45. I didn't know what to do with all of the breaks...except drink coffee or tea. The Irish love their coffee and tea; it is offered everywhere! I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked, "Coffee or tea?" today.
        I was really confused during introductions to people today in the school.  When I would introduce myself, I would say my name and then the person would say their name, followed by, "You're Welcome!"
     "Thank you?" I would reply. After about the third time this happened, I finally realized that they were welcoming me into their school and country.
        After meeting all of the teachers, I spent the first two parts of the day in 6th class. They were working on an IT project using iMovie and green screen. When I went to help a girl in the class with a problem she was having, she gasped and be ame wide-eyed when she heard me talk. My accent was obviously so foreign to her. Then she wanted to know all about America (or "the states" as they call it). The first question she asked me was, "Do you go to Starbucks?" Followed by, "Have you ever seen Beyoncé?!"
     Next, I spent time with the senior infants. I only spent a short amount of time with this class since they end the day at 1:45. I worked with students on coloring patterns. They wanted to tell me all about themselves. One little girl told me that she was going to Dublin on Saturday. When I asked what she was doing there, she said that she was going to see Disney On Ice. We started talking about Disney princesses and she was so surprised that I knew of them.
      After the infants left, I went to third class. I started my time in third class by explaining how schools at home are opporated. In Ireland, there are no cafeterias. The students bring their own lunches and eat in the classroom. I explained how lunch in America works, and then all of the questions flooded in. "Is there dessert at lunch?" "Is there swimming class?" (They have swimming classes here during school.) "Do you have lockers? If so, have you ever seen someone get stuffed in one?" "Is there a football (soccer) team at the schools?"
   Then I started talking about soccer and American football in the US and how little leagues work. They think American football is so cool!!
      After talking and helping the third class, Presley (another student teacher) and I walked to our home for the next month. (Everyone walks everywhere here.) On our way home, we saw Croagh (pronounced crow) Patrick, a mountain in Westport. It has a chapel at its peak. (We are planning on climbing it this
     It has been such an amazing day! Posts from Croagh Patrick coming soon...
The mountain in the back is Croagh Patrick! The little path on the left is our path to school. 


  1. Sweet Sarah, this is dUncle Denny and Aunt Connie Callahan! We are so excited for you and wish you the best time ever this next month. Grandpa and Grandma would be so proud of you...... Keep the blogs coming can't wait to read your next one!!!! Love You.

  2. How awesome is this experience... Love to here the differences.